Is a trip to London even complete without an afternoon tea experience? And what if we told you that it doesn’t have to be a stuffy affair in a hotel somewhere – instead, just off the bustling Covent Garden square, you’ll enter a venue that blends edgy and elegance, perfectly. Welcome to BALTHAZAR Restaurant…
Serving up a menu of well-prepared French brasserie food, Balthazar Restaurant still remains a hidden gem for many, and a secret escape for those who have stumbled upon it by accident or guests who have become regular visitors. Either way, it’s far from the ostentatious 5-star hotels where afternoon tea is a ceremonial activity, this place is all about fun, laughter, casual, friendly service and, of course, eating and drinking to your heart’s content. It’s a space that allows solo diners, groups of friends, and families to enjoy an ambience that is somewhat flawlessly unrefined and charming with bistro sophistication and laid back vibes all around.
Its creative afternoon teas is one of Balthazar’s pinnacles, and their new effort with Flowerbx, the online flower delivery service that has taken the UK fashion industry by storm, is nothing short of insta-worthy. The floral inspired afternoon tea is every food blogger’s dream and a match made in heaven between Balthazar’s Head Pastry Chef Régis Beauregard’s serious culinary skills and Flowerbx CEO Whitney Bromberg Hawkings’ floral expertise. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t want to eat lush cakes and pastries that are both pretty and tasty? We’re sold!
To start, a selection of traditional, freshly prepared finger sandwiches are served, including cucumber, mint and homemade hummus; smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche; and lobster prawn roll (which was the highlight of them all – DELISH). Buttermilk scones with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve will have you so excited that you won’t know whether to do cream first then jam, or the other way around. We’re partial to a big dollop of cream and an equally generous spread of jam – mouthwatering to say the least. Alongside these, you’ll find a tray of floral sweet treats to follow.
There was a pescatarian in our group, and we were happy to see that their dietary needs were met. We advise to book ahead and let the kitchen know of any food allergies or intolerances – the restaurant is more than accommodating. Back to the good stuff. Diners can enjoy cakes in the shape of colourful seasonal blooms, in beautiful Flowerbx hues: Sky Blue Hydrangea, Violacious Tulips, Petal White Anemone, Sunburst Dahlia, and the newly introduced, deep red Balthazar Rose, specially created to celebrate this exciting collaboration.
Each Flowerbx inspired cake has been expertly paired with flavours to complement both the flower and the hue. These include Apple and Blackberry Tulip, Coconut and Yuzu Hydrangea, Salted Caramel Anemone, Lemon and Blueberry Dahlia (our favourite) and the Balthazar Raspberry Rose. Of course, as expected, these treats are S.W.E.E.T and moreish and absolutely delightful. Tip: pace yourself and sip your tea with the cakes – it’s what a true Brit would do!
Talking of tea, you have the choice of a good variety of fragrant and traditional teas to savour alongside the main event. There’s Earl Grey, Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Chai, Assam, Jasmine, Sencha, Chamomile, Fresh Mint and Ginger. Something for both black tea and green tea fans.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking of something a little more cheeky for the afternoon tea, opt for the Flower Fizz cocktail, a delicious concoction of pink peppercorn gin, cocchi rose, pinky vodka and crushed violet petals, created by Balthazar’s Head Bartender and industry great, Brian Silva. A mocktail version is also available! With a curated selection of cakes that represent the season’s most exquisite flowers, this collaboration is as beautiful as it is delicious and Balthazar has struck gold with another fabulous afternoon tea experience that visitors in London should definitely put on their to-do – or shall we say to-eat – list.
GO: AFTERNOON TEA IS SERVED FROM 3PM TO 5.30PM, MONDAY TO FRIDAY; 3PM TO 5PM ON SATURDAY; AND 3PM TO 6.30PM ON SUNDAY (3PM TO 5PM MONDAY TO SUNDAY IN DECEMBER). PRICES START FROM £29.95 PER PERSON. TO BOOK, PHONE +44 20 3301 1155 OR EMAIL RESERVATIONS@BALTHAZARLONDON.COM. INSTAGRAM: @BALTHAZARLDN AND @THEFLOWERBX.